Thursday night saw the Vancouver Canucks lose their second straight contest to a team whose play has been so poor that they’ve earned “terrible pun moniker” status. How could this happen?
A possible reason why the ‘nucks lost this game has to be because the NHL officials are obviously biased. They made that clear by allowing six Hurr-durr-icane man-advantages, otherwise making non-calls and swallowing their whistles (Vancouver had one 1:43-minute opportunity) throughout the contest.
But let’s be realistic: they did this simply because they were hungry. NHL referees – the best in the world at their profession – make a paltry $115,000 per year as a starting wage. How are they supposed to survive off of that? Canucks fans really can’t blame the zebras for grazing costs where they can.
In fact, if Vancouverites were to point the finger at anyone, it should be the Vegas odd makers.
Going into Tuesday’s matchup against The Columbus Poo Jackets, Vancouver was the heavy favourite with a -180 rating, and ended up with the same rating headed into Thursday’s up and down game. It didn’t take long thereafter for the herds of starving North American equids to band together in hopes of a better tomorrow and risk it all on the opposition.
Or rather, on the fact that Vancouver would never show up against the two worst teams in the league.
The Canucks have a long history of taking periods (and sometimes whole games) off. The shrewd officiating staff knew that after what could have easily been a 10-game winning streak and a three-day rest, Vancouver would be lackadaisical in its approach with the gunpowder-less Jackets. Sure enough, the westcoasters coasted their way through the game, barely earning a point in a shootout.
Thursday’s game saw the other major flaw in the franchise when the Canucks once again played down to their opponents. Knowing that emerging superstar Jeff Skinner has been out with injury, the conniving whistle-blowers determined that without any real players of calibre (paging Dr. Staal), the Canucks (themselves without uber-Swede Daniel Sedin) would be toying with their lines, already oft-jumbled thanks to injury, salary cap, and chemistry issues.
This made for a very awkward group, which had a surprising amount of chances overall, but not enough to break the officials’ bank as the confusion between players led to a slew of penalties, some well-fed zebras, and the Canucks’ ultimate demise.
At the end of the day, 2-1-1 isn’t bad for a five-game road swing, but with the vaunted Maple Leafs of Toronto hosting Vancouver this Saturday, the only safe bet is that there is only Bettman.